Whitewashing Paint Ideas

Updated February 21, 2017

The whitewashing paint technique has been around for hundreds of years. It creates an old, historical feel on walls, furniture and even brick. Whitewash paint is most often made of lime and water, though sometimes plaster or molasses is added. Whitewash paint will create a thick layer of plaster; the texture can vary depending on preference.

Mixing Whitewash

Original whitewash is made from basic ingredients: hydrated lime, water and salt, all in equal amounts. However, this will vary depending on the final effect desired. For paint washes, start with a 50/50 paint and water ratio, using 1 quart of paint to begin with. For a more sheer effect, add more water to the mix.

Preparing to Paint

It is always important to prepare the space before diving in to the whitewash job. Whitewash paint can irritate the skin and may be harmful to furniture pieces and other nearby objects, so cover or move anything that is in the way. Wipe down and sand surfaces if necessary.

Whitewashing Furniture

If you are whitewashing furniture, begin by adding a thick layer of paint on a section. Once the section is finished, go over it with a clean, dry rag to create desired wash look. If you wipe off too much, simply add more paint and start over. For a shabby chic look, sand any carved areas or edges of furniture pieces.

Whitewashing Walls

Always test paint colours--or in this case, the whitewash mixture--to ensure satisfactory results. Use a piece of cardboard to test the whitewash. Simply add water if the consistency is too thick. Allowing some of the bare wall or wood to show through will give the wall a rustic look. Keep in mind that whitewashing the wall is not the same as painting the wall; whitewashing is like a cross between painting and plastering.

Whitewashing with Paint Colors

The whitewashing technique adds interest and character to a pieces of furniture, kitchen cabinets, moulding, a white picket fence or walls. With the right additives and tools, it can easily be accomplished. Whitewashing naturally is white, but for a more modern approach, latex paint can be incorporated in the mixture for a pickling or glazing colour effect.

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About the Author

Chris Newton has worked as a professional writer since 2001. He spent two years writing software specifications then spent three years as a technical writer for Microsoft before turning to copywriting for software and e-commerce companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Colorado.